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Redirection needed in Rio

12 Jun 2012

The Irish Times

Editorial

WORLD LEADERS have received a siren call from the UN Environment Programme (Unep) on the eve of next week's gathering in Rio de Janeiro to mark the Earth Summit's 20th anniversary. Its fifth Global Environmental Outlook starkly spells out the uncomfortable truth that the world "remains on an unsustainable track despite hundreds of internationally agreed goals and objectives". Of the 500-plus such deals, Unep assessed 90 in detail and found "significant progress" had been made in just four of them, such as agreements to phase out lead in petrol and chemicals blamed for depleting the ozone layer.

"Some progress" was reported in 40 others, including efforts to extend protected habitats and halt deforestation, but "little or no progress" was detected for 24 - notably climate change, deteriorating fish stocks, drought and desertification.

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